Construction work on Manchester’s Ordsall Chord railway bridge has completed ahead of the first passenger trains running between Victoria and Piccadilly in December.
Rail minister Paul Maynard installed the final rail clip on the bridge today, ceremonially completing the work on the project which has been built by a joint venture of Skanska, Bam Nuttall, Amey Sersa, and Siemens, alongside steelwork contractor Severfield, consultants WSP, Aecom, and Mott MacDonald, and architect BDP.
The new rail link will connect Manchester’s Victoria and Piccadilly stations for the first time, and will allow increased services to and from Manchester Airport.
It forms part of the wider Northern Hub project which is due to complete by the end of the year.
Maynard said: “The new Ordsall Chord is a major milestone for the Great North Rail Project and forms a key part of this government’s £13bn investment in transport in the North.
“The construction of this new iconic bridge has supported 2,000 jobs, including new apprentices and graduates and will provide new and direct links to Manchester Airport from across the region.
“By 2020, the Great North Rail Project will deliver faster and more comfortable journeys, with new trains, extra carriages and more than 2,000 extra services a week.”
BDP’s transport architect director Peter Jenkins added: “This project has had significant historic issues to manage, with a series of viaducts and bridges arcing around past Liverpool Road Station, the first passenger railway station in the world and an 1830 bridge by pioneering rail engineer George Stephenson.
“In total there are three grade one-listed and twenty-one grade two-listed structures on or around the site, which show the importance of this location in the global history of passenger railways.
“We have designed the first asymmetric network arch bridge in the world alongside the first passenger railway in the world.
“Stephenson’s Bridge was neglected and disused before the Ordsall Chord. Now it can be celebrated for its character and importance.”